The New 400 List: Only 489 Filipinos Have a Net Worth of P1.5 Billion and Above


Ultra-high net worth individual (UHNWI)—that’s the official term and acronym used describe the absolute richest in the world. We’re not talking about the one percent or even the 0.1 percent, although we’ve already written about them. We’re talking about the 0.01 percent—the Bezos, Gates, and Musks of the world.

Everyone has their own definition of ultra-rich, and Knight Frank defines UHNWI as individuals with a net worth that exceeds S30 million or P1.457 billion. According to Knight Frank, there are total of roughly 521,653 UHNWI in the world, with 180,000 coming from the U.S. alone, home to most of the world’s billionaires.

As for the Philippines, Knight Frank estimates that there are roughly 489 individuals that can claim the title of UHNWI in 2021. This is out of a total national population of over 108 million. In short, UHNWI in the Philippines aren't just part of the one percent or even 0.1 percent or even 0.01 percent. The 489 UHNWI in the Philippines make up 0.0000045 percent of the population. 

The organization expects a 35 percent increase in UHNWI by 2025, meaning the Philippines’ billionaire club will be growing in the next few years.

The Philippines’ Dollar Millionaires

Just one step under the UHNWI are the HNWI, or high net worth individuals with wealth over $1 million, otherwise known as dollar millionaires. Knight Frank’s wealth sizing model says that there are roughly 13,936 dollar millionaires in the Philippines. That's about 0.00012 percent of the population, but the number of dollar millionaires will increase by 36 percent in 2025 to 18,989. 


Period of economic crisis have historically been followed by economic booms, and Knight Frank predicts that the number of dollar millionaires in the world will increase by more than 40 percent from 48 million in 2020 to over 68 million in 2025.

Income Inequality

Despite having a growing number of billionaires and millionaires, the Philippines still faces issues like income inequality, poverty, and poor minimum wage. In 2019, it was reported that the Philippines had one of the highest Gini index scores, which is a way to measure the level of income inequality in countries. It ranked in the top 10 countries with the highest amount of income inequality. 

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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